UK & Ireland

Bridgemates:  The Concerns

Identifying and dealing with members' concerns

Members' initial concern is likely to be the considerable outlay involved in a club's acquiring a Bridgemate system. Certainly this isn't a decision that a club can take lightly but, having said that, we've yet to encounter a club that's regretted making the investment. And of course the availability if inexpensive but fully-warranted Bridgemate Pro systems in refurbished form mean that dipping a toe in the wireless-scoring world is within the reach of any club.

We often hear a comment like 'Our members are old and may not be able to cope'. It's true that virtually all bridge clubs have many members who are approaching or have attained their seniority. But what is fortunately not true is that these members are unable to cope. The designers of the Bridgemate system knew who they were designing for, hence the large and user-friendly keyboard for example. Specifically in order to help allay this concern, we make demo models available to interested clubs on loan for a while, without charge or obligation. These devices are free-standing, and interested [or apprehensive] members can take one home for a few days to see what's involved in using it. One of the services we offer in the UK is that we will show up on a club evening with Bridgemates, so that members can assess at first hand what it's like to play in a Bridgemate-equipped event.

Another concern that many clubs have is whether their Directors will be able to cope. Clubs often have a group of Directors who share the load, and we usually advise that each one gets to take a small Bridgemate system home for a couple of days in order to get the feel of launching, running, and finalising an event in their own time and space, preferably over and over again. So by the time the club runs its first event for real, each of these Directors has been through the process a number of times. Here in the UK, we make sure our new customers understand that there's usually someone on call during normal bridge rather than office hours, so if an experienced Director does get stuck there's somewhere to turn. Director training is available, but it's very rare for clubs to find this necessary.